There is nothing as exhilarating as buying your first house. It’s a major step in your life, and it requires a real commitment. In fact, this commitment is going to last between 15 – 30 years. With so much on the line, it’s important to pay attention to details as you move through the home buying process.
First Things First
You may be tempted to scour the internet for MLS listings or cruise through neighborhoods looking for sale signs. Before you begin that part of the adventure, you should take care of a few other things. Order a copy of your credit report from the three main reporting agencies. Because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can do this once a year for free. Once you have the reports, check for anything that could cause a delay in your approval for a home loan. Report errors and pay off delinquent accounts before moving forward.
You’ll want to save a substantial amount of money to cover the costs of buying a home. Be prepared to pay around 20 percent of the home’s selling price as a down payment. Closing costs include fees associated with things like inspections, appraisals, attorney fees, and title searches. These closing costs are usually between 2 – 8 percent of the selling price. You’ll want extra padding in the bank to cover surprise expenses, moving costs, and any upgrades you want to make before moving into the house.
Applying for a home mortgage loan as soon as possible will help save you time down the road. The mortgage lender will let you know exactly how much home you can afford. This saves you time when you are searching for homes, and it keeps you from being disappointed when you see homes that are outside of your target range. It’s not unusual for offers to come up against competition. If this happens to you, the pre-approval letter could turn things in your favor because of their appeal to sellers. Getting this approval means that you’ve proven your credit worthiness and are a good candidate for the purchase.
It’s important that you don’t do anything during this period of time to upset the delicate balance of your credit worthiness. This is not the proper time to make large purchases. Large purchases can have a negative impact on your income to debt ratio and cause a serious delay in the purchase of your home. Along the same lines, this is not the time to switch jobs. Home mortgage lenders are looking for people with a stable income that can show they are good risks.
Find a Real Estate Agent
Having a professional real estate agent to represent you during your transaction will provide you with peace of mind and save you time. They have the knowledge and experience you need working on your side to get things accomplished. They are skilled negotiators who are used to coming up with impressive offers that appeal to sellers.
You want a real estate agent that communicates at the highest level. They should listen to your needs and give advice, but they should have the ability to be direct. This directness will work on your behalf to make sure you are getting exactly what you need in a home. Interview potential agents, and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. They will be walking with you through each step of the home buying process, so make sure they are someone you get along well with and understand.
Your real estate agent is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give The Soladar Group a call today at 323-481-7907 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling your house, or tour available homes for sale.